Picture a city (Bradford) from Architecture Player on Vimeo.
Anyone who has played Sim City will know how effective green space is in raising values and in making your city happier, healthier and attractive to the sort of folk who make cities buzz. And, when we think about it, this makes sense. I recall my wife's criticism of central Manchester (where she worked at the time) as a place without trees or greenery. I also know how the little patches of grass and tree in Bradford's Centenary Square are, at the first sign of sun, covered with people lunching.
So the idea of pocket parks - creating little oases of green space in the city - is a great one:
Mayor Boris Johnson has come up with a plan to make London both greener and friendlier by creating 100 tennis court-sized “pocket parks.” City Hall has agreed to put £2 million into the first 30 schemes across the capital, including a miniature inner-city “hop farm”, a community herb garden and an green amphitheatre.
This idea isn't just about greening the central business district - taking its hint from Will Alsop's wonderful masterplan for Bradford City Centre (see above) - but about a wider idea of an open, parked city. The idea of removing the bad stuff and, rather than building some new bad stuff, creating open spaces and places where we can try out new ways, pop-ups and follow the shifting nature of the city.
We should do more of it.